Steroid injections

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Just read in the news that steroid injections into the knee double the rate of cartilage loss!

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  • Posted

    Yes I was told this. My GP said he doesn't recommend more than 3 a year, as it can excelerate the deterioration of cartilage. He did say he would only recommend if the relief was long term. I had 2 in total. The first one fine by GP didn't work at all and a second done by a hospital consultant lasted only a week.

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    • Posted

      Found this Chris

      The hallmark feature of osteoarthritis is the breakdown in the articular cartilage of joints such as the knee and hip. Both animal and human research has consistently shown that corticosteroid injections into normal and degenerated knees accelerate the arthritic process. A summary of the effects of the intraarticular corticosteroids on articular cartilage includes: a decrease of protein and matrix synthesis, matrix hyaline appearance becomes fibrotic, clumping of collagen, alteration in chondrocyte cell shape, chondrocyte cell proliferation inhibited, chondrocyte cytoxicity enhanced, loss of chondrocytes, surface deterioration including edema, pitting, shredding, ulceration and erosions, inhibition of articular cartilage metabolism, articular cartilage necrosis, thinning of articular cartilage, decrease in cartilage growth and repair, formation of articular cartilage cysts, and ultimately articular cartilage destruction.

      When researchers microscopically and radiologically examine human joints after corticosteroid injections, the same results are found in humans as in animals. Intraarticular corticosteroid injections accelerate the osteoarthritic degenerative process. Because of this possibility, organizations such as the American College of Rheumatology acknowledge, “It is generally recommended, although not well supported by published data, that injection of corticosteroids in a given joint not be performed more than three to four times in a given year because of concern about the possible development of progressive cartilage damage through repeated injection in the weight-bearing joints.” It is this author’s opinion that there is no doubt that the rise of osteoarthritis, as well as the number of hip and knee replacements, is a direct result of the injection of corticosteroids into these joints.

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    • Posted

      Phew - I hope that is getting well known now Freestork.  It makes me think that it's not advisable to have ONE injection because if three or four damage it, then one is going to have a partial effect on that damage??? I don't quite see how they can blame the rise of arthritis on the injections though because most will have them BECAUSE they've got arthritis already, to try and relieve it.

      It rather reminds me about the latest research on pre-natal scans - they've said that more scans than the NHS usually do might be harmful for the baby.  We were always told they weren't harmful, yet if three are harmful, why are one or two not!

      Makes me think the NHS and other health services everywhere are just fumbling along like we are, to some extent!  Doing what they think is their best at the time, but not necessarily so!  But that's all we CAN do, I guess.

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  • Posted

    I was told no more than 3 a year. They didn't do much for me. The synvisc shots helped more but only lasted about 2 months.

    Thanks for info

    Ellen

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris

    I never had any injections although i was offered them a few years ago my mother in law had them

    she suffeted badly with arthritis but they never did her much good pain wise just a little relief for a couple of weeks but her joints got worse afterwards .

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    • Posted

      That backs up the article Johnny!  I had one injection in each knee but they did nothing.  But then I was prewarned they might not because knees were too far gone.  But there was no warning they could make anything worse!!!!
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  • Posted

    Thanks for shedding light on this issue.  I read it in a medical journal as well. My huge medical center only offers cortisone injections.  They had given up on platelet therapy and gel shots. Think about it, the steroid shots are almost painless, quick and almost any doctor can administer them, and the platelet shots are time consuming, painful, labor intensive, and are paid of the medical insurers at a fairly  low rate compared to the easily administered cortisone shots.  I get why my center is not doing anything but cortisone. Now we'll see what they come up with next as this information you provided is absorbed by the orthopedic community and patients who are suffering.

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    • Posted

      OConnor - I wouldn't have said the steroid shots were painless!  I've got a high pain threshold and was very brave (and the doctor doing the injection remarked on it) but it hurt! LOL!  But people certainly need to know about this if they are being offered them!

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  • Posted

    What? And my left knee has started hurting since I had the surgery on my right knee. I was just thinking about getting an injection. Wow!
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  • Posted

    It is true Chris I was getting the injections for 2 years my dr was very reluctant to give me them. The consultant at the hospital was happy for me to continue with them until I received my date for surgery but when I told my dr this he said had the consultant explained about the damage this is doing to you and making things worse for when you have the surgery. Maybe that's why I'm still in alot of pain after 11 weeks.

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    • Posted

      Ah - Maybe THIS aspect has got something to do with pain level after the op?????  Worth asking the question about who's had what and when in the way of these injections before TKR and what their pain was like after the op!

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